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Duluth holiday events 2022: From Bentleyville to ballet

The Zenith City's Christmas season kicks off this weekend with a parade and a lights display. Grab your calendar and peruse our guide to what's coming up.

Nine people wearing Victorian winter garb stand in a row on a concrete plaza in front of the Aerial Lift Bridge.
People at last year's Duluth Winter Village sport Victorian garb.
Contributed / Amanda J. Cane
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DULUTH — In New York, the holiday season officially arrives with Santa's appearance at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Duluth doesn't wait that long.

With Friday's Christmas City of the North parade, Duluth will swing into the season, with Bentleyville plugging in a day later at Bayfront Festival Park. That means it's time to start making your plans to celebrate the holidays, whatever that means for your family and friends.

Here are some highlights from local venues that have already shared their schedules. Watch the News Tribune for information on late-breaking celebrations.

Nov. 17: The Looney Lutherans

"It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas," reads the tagline for "The Looney Lutherans in Hold the Lutefisk." The show's description swears that you don't have to be Lutheran to get a kick out of the group's "musical, merry, menopausal members," but if you've never enjoyed the rank smell of freshly boiled lutefisk, you may want to remedy that. The Blue Max Resort will be serving lutefisk during dinner hours on each of the first three Sundays and Mondays in December. See thewesttheatre.com for information on the Looney Lutherans, and bluemaxmn.com for information on the restaurant.

Nov. 18–Dec. 18: Pepperkakebyen Gingerbread City

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Duluth's Nordic Center hosts an annual gingerbread city, seen here in 2014.
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

First things first: You pronounce it "pepper-kocke-BEE-in." Pepperkakebyen is the word for a Norwegian gingerbread city, like the record-busting display in Bergen, Norway. The Nordic Center hosts a very Duluth version of the traditional edible model municipality, now celebrating its 11th year in Norway Hall. The display opens Friday to coincide with the parade, and will remain on display through Dec. 18. On National Gingerbread House Day (Dec. 12, in case you didn't know offhand), the houses will spread across downtown in a sort of sweet-smelling scavenger hunt. For information, see nordiccenterduluth.org.

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Nov. 18–Jan. 8: Glensheen Holiday Tours

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Chris Ibarra, right, and Blake Romenesko decorated the Great Hall Christmas Tree at Glensheen in 2016.
Bob King / File / Duluth News Tribune

Once again, Glensheen will be decked out for the holidays, as it was when the Congdon family lived there. The mansion is promising "brand-new decorations and themed rooms" as well as 25 elves hidden throughout the house for scavenger hunters to spot. There will also be exterior decorations, including the elaborate display that formerly adored the Park Point house of Marcia Hales. Those decorations have been at Glensheen since 2019, but staff say this will be the last year they'll be displayed on the grounds. For tickets and information on special events, including nighttime candlelight tours, see glensheen.org.

Marcia Hales announced last year that this season was going to be the last for her light display on Park Point. Even though she has decided to end the annual display, her lights will shine on at Glensheen Mansion.

Nov. 18: Christmas City of the North Parade

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Members of Dreamdance Academy dance to "Gingerbread Man" by Yo Yo Yo Kids during the Christmas City of the North Parade in 2015.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

Duluth is obviously Santa's favorite city. How do we know? Because he shows up every year for our Christmas City of the North Parade, and then parachutes into Bentleyville the next day. How many other cities get that kind of attention? Expect bands, floats and all the usual trappings of a winter wonderland on Superior Street, where the parade kicks off at Fitger's at 6:30 p.m. The fun then runs west, where the parade ends at Fourth Avenue West. For more information on the parade, a Duluth tradition for over six decades, see facebook.com/christmascityparade.

Nov. 19–Dec. 26: Bentleyville

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Bentleyville in Bayfront Festival Park, 2021.
Dan Williamson / File / Duluth News Tribune

You've heard of Christmas Town, but what's Bentleyville? So glad you asked. It's a festive display of over 5 million lights, centered on a towering conical Christmas tree at Bayfront Festival Park. It takes its name from founder Nathan Bentley, who started decorating his Esko home in 2001 and attracted tens of thousands of visitors to his elaborate displays there and, later, in Cloquet after the family moved. In 2009, the whole shebang moved to Bayfront Festival Park, and the rest is history. Santa's there, along with sweet snacks, and admission is completely free. For more information (including a handy "crowd-o-meter"), see bentleyvilleusa.org.

Nov. 19: Elf in Training Workshop

Child in elf costume stands for portrait in front of yellow background, holding their hands out and smiling as star-shaped glitter falls.
Kids can get ready for the holiday season at an "Elf in Training" event Nov. 19.
Contributed / Miller Hill Mall

Santa doesn't arrive at Miller Hill Mall until Dec. 1, but the Duluth Heights shopping complex is getting the community psyched up with its annual "Elf in Training" event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. "It's been a very successful event in the past, just to bring the kids out to expect Santa's arrival and get into the holiday cheer," said Megan Reuer, the mall's director of marketing. Kids can write to Santa, make crafts to take home, decorate cookies and ultimately earn certificates for their participation. It's never too early to start building that resume. For details, see millerhillmall.com.

Nov. 25–Dec. 18: Christmas Trains

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The North Shore Scenic Railroad Christmas Tree Train nears the Christmas tree lot Nov. 27, 2021, at the Knife River Depot.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

If there's one thing you can count on in Duluth (besides road work), it's a train for every season. This time of year, that means at least three different options run by the North Shore Scenic Railroad. The classic Christmas City Express runs from Nov. 25–Dec. 18, with a festive Depot story time followed by a carol-filled train ride. Then there's a Christmas Tree Train on Nov. 26 (sold out as of press time), and a Julebyen Express Train to Knife River's Scandinavian holiday festival Dec. 3 and 4. There's also a Bentleyville shuttle train that runs on Saturdays from Nov. 26 to Dec. 17. For information on all these rides, see duluthtrains.com.

Passengers rode the North Shore Scenic Railroad from Duluth to Knife River where they were able to buy Christmas trees and wreaths before returning to Duluth.

Nov. 25–Dec. 31: Zoo Lights

The Lake Superior Zoo's holiday light display may not quite be on the scale of Bentleyville, but it's nothing to shake a candy cane at. Expanded from last year's inaugural display, the now-annual event will include "giant (and we mean GIANT) animal inflatables" as well as treats; live music; and appearances from both Santa and the Grinch. This is a ticketed event over the course of 15 nights. See lszooduluth.org for information.

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Opens Nov. 25: Snoland

White, blond child sits on red snow saucer and smiles up at camera, wearing winter gear including blue jacket and black boots.
The Duluth Children's Museum is creating space for both indoor and outdoor winter-themed play.
Contributed / Duluth Children's Museum

If you're looking for a "winter wonderland" to enjoy with your family yet also want to avoid frostbite, the Duluth Children's Museum is creating just such an opportunity. The Lincoln Park museum's winter exhibit, called Snoland, involves winter activities adapted for the great indoors — but will also feature an actual snow hill and snow sculpting outdoors. Staff will lead daily activities, including snowball throwing and crafts. The exhibit opens Nov. 25, with special "Sno Days" programming Dec. 9 and 10. For information, see duluthchildrensmuseum.org.

Nov 26: Old-fashioned candy making

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Guests and visitors of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum wait in front of the window outside the historic Grambsch Candy Kitchen at the St. Louis County Depot in Duluth on Nov. 27, 2021.
Dan Williamson / File / Duluth News Tribune

If you've visited the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, you might have noticed the candy shop storefront that's part of the Depot Square historical display. In this case, history comes alive — for just one day each year. Relatives and descendants of Ben Grambsch, who built the shop in Loyal, Wisconsin, have an annual tradition of returning to the nearly century-old equipment to demonstrate traditional candy making techniques on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Demonstrations and samples are free with museum admission. For details, see lsrm.org.

Members of the Grambsch family returned to reopen their historic candy store in Depot Square inside the Lake Superior Railroad Museum at the St. Louis County Depot in Duluth on Nov. 27, 2021. The family makes hard candy by hand as guests watched the process and then tasted free samples.

Nov. 26: AICHO Holiday Market

Overhead view of a large room with vendors selling crafts and food at tables, with people browsing about.
According to a news release, Biboon Bimaadizimin includes "lots of goods including locally grown and produced Indigenous foods and bottled beverages like Kombucha, art prints, original artwork, textile goods, American Indian beadwork, merch and so much more!"
Contributed / AICHO

On Nov. 26, the American Indian Community Housing Organization is offering an opportunity to connect with "dozens of local and regional Indigenous, BIPOC and Diverse vendors" at Biboon Bimaadizimin: Winter Good Life Holiday Market. (The event's title is Ojibwe for "winter good life.") Appropriately, the occasion is Small Business Saturday, launched in 2010 as a companion to "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday." Arts, textiles, food and more will be available at the organization's Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center. For information, see facebook.com/aichomn.

Nov. 27: Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Let's get our Cirques straight. There's Cirque du Soleil, which most recently came to Duluth in 2019. Then there's Cirque Italia, which pitched a tent at Miller Hill Mall just this past September. Finally, there's Cirque Dreams, which is presenting a "Holidaze" (get it?) show at the DECC's Symphony Hall on Nov. 27. The company describes its show as "a Broadway-style production infused with contemporary circus arts," and notes that new elements have been introduced this year for the benefit of repeat attendees. For tickets and information, see decc.org.

Nov. 27: Tubachristmas

Girl wearing reindeer patterned sweater and Santa hat plays trombone, with tuba visible in foreground.
On Nov. 27, low brass will take a turn in the holiday spotlight.
Contributed / Tubachristmas Duluth

The name pretty much says it all. "Last year we had 38 musicians from around the state bringing us the sweet sound of low brass Christmas carols. This year we expect more," administrator Karen Anderson wrote in an email to the News Tribune. It's a worldwide tradition, launched in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza in 1974. Today, the foundation named after founder Harvey Phillips also runs events under the names of Octubafest, Summertubafest and Tubaquillas, among others. If all that low brass isn't tuba much, you can feel the festive rumbles Nov. 27 at First Lutheran Church. For more information, see facebook.com/tubachristmasduluth.

Nov. 29 - Dec. 1: Holiday Book Sale

Exterior view of Mount Royal Center Branch Library, with brick pillars rising to either side of a pair of blue double doors, with library name on facade above.
The Mount Royal Center Branch Library will host a holiday book sale.
Jay Gabler / Duluth News Tribune

A used book for Christmas? It's the thought that counts, and wrapping a previously read volume in good condition can be a way to help your budget while reducing your environmental impact and, not incidentally, helping the Friends of the Duluth Public Library. They'll be hosting their annual Holiday Book Sale at the library's Mount Royal Branch from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. For more information, see duluthlibrary.org.

Dec. 1: A Kickin' Country Christmas

Black and white photo of four men wearing flannel shirts and t-shirts, standing in a field with tall plants reaching to their chests.
Mason Dixon Line is out standing in its field.
Contributed / Mason Dixon Line

It's safe to say the North Pole is north of the Mason-Dixon Line, and so is Duluth. The band by that name is coming our way, though, for a Dec. 1 "Kickin' Country Christmas" show at The West Theatre. With songs like "All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan" and "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy," the band will be keeping it real. For tickets and information, see thewesttheatre.com.

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Dec. 2-18: Little Women

Young woman wearing striped pants, white button-down shirt, and newsboy cap reads a book as she leans against a fireplace, sitting on a richly patterned carpet.
Alyson Enderle stars as Jo in "Little Women."
Contributed / Duluth Playhouse

Is "Little Women" a Christmas show? Sure, it has a Christmas scene, but it also has a Valentine's Day Ball and a Civil War. Regardless, it's going to be a Christmas show this year, because the Duluth Playhouse is staging a production of the 2005 musical from Dec. 2-18. Alyson Enderle stars as Jo, a role created on Broadway by Sutton Foster. "Though Jo has always been the main attraction in any of the film and stage versions of the novel," wrote Ben Brantley in the New York Times, "here her literary ambition eclipses the tale's homier aspects." For tickets and information, see duluthplayhouse.org.

Dec. 3: DSSO Holiday Spectacular

The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra promises "your favorite holiday tunes" in their Christmas concert. It may not be safe to assume that will include "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy" (see above), but you're invited to sing along with the ones you know. There will be two performances Dec. 3 at the DECC's Symphony Hall: a "casual concert" at 2 p.m. and a main performance at 7 p.m. For tickets and information, see dsso.com.

Dec. 3 and 4: Duluth Winter Village

Small rectangular shops, garlanded with pine, sit in front of a large red-painted freighter. A crowd of people in winter coats mill about.
Last year's Duluth Winter Village brought vendors to Harbor Drive, beside the William A. Irvin.
Contributed / Amanda J. Cane

A highlight of Duluth's holiday season since it launched on the Glensheen grounds in 2016, the Duluth Winter Village now takes place on Harbor Drive beside the DECC. Duluth has a lot of pop-up makers markets, but this one is different, drawing tens of thousands of shoppers looking for special gifts and other finds. They don't go hungry or thirsty, with vendors including Love Creamery and the New Scenic Cafe — plus craft beer and Vikre holiday cocktails. Carolers, live animals and (indoor) skaters help set the scene. For information, see duluthwintervillage.com.

Dec. 4: Pikkujoulu

Three people with string instruments stand outside a sauna in a grassy field. Two women hold an accordion and a violin, while a man holds a guitar.
The Doty Family Trio will perform at this year's Pikkujoulu celebration in Duluth.
Contributed / Lakehead Chapter of the Minnesota Finnish American Historical Society

Finland's traditional "little Christmas," known as Pikkojoulu, is a sort of holiday pre-party: less somber, less religious, more mulled wine. Duluth's Finns, of which there are many, have been celebrating Pikkojoulu in the Zenith City for over four decades. This year's event, which includes dinner and a program of "Finnish music to stir the heart," takes place at the Holiday Inn downtown Dec. 4 at 12:30 p.m. For tickets and information, according to a news release, "call Donna at 218-590-8655, or Anja at 218-380-0811 or email Arlene with any questions at tuck5080@yahoo.com ."

Dec. 7: Chamber After Hours

"No more work tonight," cries old Fezziwig. "Let's have the shutters up before a man can say Jack Robinson!" While Scrooge is reminiscing with the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present will be at the Greysolon Ballroom whooping it up with Duluth's Chamber of Commerce. Local businesses are closing the shutters and getting festive at the annual Chamber After Hours event billed as "the best holiday party in town." Does this mean there will be a limbo line under the giant scissors? If you want to get in on the action and rub elbows with some of the local business community's movers and shakers, see duluthchamber.com for tickets and information.

Dec. 7: Lorie Line

White woman stands in white dress against a white background, with white puffs around the dress's wrists and lower hem.
Lorie Line is coming to the College of St. Scholastica.
Contributed / Lorie Line

When do we get a Lorie Line biopic? The Minnesota music icon got her start in the state scene playing piano for shoppers at Dayton's department store. According to her website, "She has sold 6 million albums (1 million at Dayton's, 3 million in a Chex cereal box and 2 million on her own) and may very well be the most published arranger in modern day times." Truly, we must stan. Line will be at the College of St. Scholastica's Mitchell Auditorium on Dec. 7 for an "Intimate Christmas" show of solo piano. For tickets and information, see lorieline.com.

Dec. 7: Sherwin Linton

Woman and man stand in snowy landscape, embracing as they smile at the camera. Both are wearing warm coats, and the man is wearing a black top hat.
Sherwin Linton and his wife Pam are playing a holiday concert in Duluth.
Contributed / The West Theatre

With all due respect to Minnesota Music Hall of Fame member Lorie Line, Sherwin Linton not only has that honor, he was the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame. Wisconsin? North Dakota? What have you got for the artist who famously sang, "Hello, I'm not Johnny Cash"? Linton will be at the West Theatre on Dec. 7 to present a "Christmas Time's A-Coming" concert. For tickets and information, see thewesttheatre.com.

Dec. 7: Eyes Wide Shut

Theatrical release poster for "Eyes Wide Shut," billing CRUISE, KIDMAN, KUBRICK with image of Nicole Kidman warily being kissed by Tom Cruise.
Theatrical release poster for "Eyes Wide Shut."
Contributed / Warner Bros.

Yes, it's a Christmas movie! True, it's an R-rated erotic mystery psychological drama, but if the Chamber of Commerce can have a holiday party, why can't the Illuminati? Stanley Kubrick went out with a bang, so to speak, in his highly charged final film, released in 1999 after the filmmaker's death. It's screening at the Zinema on Dec. 7. For tickets and information, see zeitgeistarts.com.

Dec. 9-18: A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol

"It's kind of like if Dickens told his classic story through the lens of a small bar in Bemidji," director Dennis Johnson said about "A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol." The Boat Club Productions is staging the musical comedy in Fitger's Spirit of the North Theatre from Dec. 9-18. Written by Phil Olson ("Don't Hug Me We're Married," "Don't Hug Me I'm Pregnant," "Don't Hug Me We're Family"), the show includes songs like "Gunner Fell Into an Ice Hole" and "Gramma Cut the Christmas Cheese." What more do you need to know? For tickets and information, see boatclubrestaurant.com.

Dec. 9-11: The Nutcracker: A Duluth Tale

Young girl in ballet shoes and a white dress holds a nutcracker up in front of a 19th century steam locomotive.
Even when Minnesota's first locomotive is right before her eyes, Clara only has eyes for her nutcracker.
Contributed / Vicki Surges

What does it mean to set "The Nutcracker" in Duluth? Expect a set depicting the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, and a Kingdom of the Sweets that's more like a Kingdom of the Swedes. Last year, News Tribune reviewer Kelly Sue Coyle described "dancing porters, traveling sisters, sweethearts, farmers, berry pickers and lumberjacks" in what she called a "must-see" production by the Minnesota Ballet. Choreographed by artistic director Karl von Rabeneau, "The Nutcracker: A Duluth Tale" will be at the DECC's Symphony Hall from Dec. 9-11. For tickets and information, see minnesotaballet.org.

With delightful choreography, amazing sets, and colorful costumes this is a must-see.

Dec. 10-11: One Silent Night

A large group of people wearing black posing on green lawn in front of fountain.
Before One Silent Night, the Arrowhead Chorale enjoyed one fine day as they posed for a group portrait.
Contributed / Arrowhead Chorale

One Silent Night, and then a silent afternoon. That's the schedule for the Arrowhead Chorale's holiday concert, being presented at the St. Louis County Depot's Great Hall on Dec. 10 and 11. Back up, Scandinavians: The chorale's program will comprise "songs and carols representative of the Germanic holiday tradition." Strikepoint, the Pentatonix of handbell choirs, will chime in. For tickets and information, see arrowheadchorale.com.

Dec. 10: Deck the Halls

An image of windowed building facade with ENGER LOFTS logo in large circle
The Enger Lofts building in Lincoln Park.
Jay Gabler / File / Duluth News Tribune

Enger Lofts is inviting shoppers to visit Lincoln Park this season, and on Dec. 10, the historic venue's merchants are sweetening the deal with treats, family activities, artisan pop-ups and a surprise giveaway. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, see facebook.com/engerloftsduluth.

Dec. 10: Wild Santa Run

No Santa suit? No problem. Every registrant in the Wild Santa Run on Dec. 10 will be supplied with a five-piece suit to emulate Old Saint Nick during the 3.1-mile dash through Lincoln Park. The run begins and ends at Wild State Cider, where each registrant can also enjoy one free serving and as many more as they wish to pay for. For information and registration, see wildsantarun.com.

Dec. 10: Merry Little Christmas Party

Side-by-side portraits of two white-presenting women wearing red lipstick and even expressions.
Sarah Morris, left, and Breanne Marie are teaming up for an Amazing Grace Cafe holiday show.
Contributed / Emily Isakson (left) / Katlyn Kretzschmar Photography (right)

Duluth? Twin Cities? Why choose? On Dec. 10, local singer-songwriter Breanne Marie will be welcoming Minneapolis-based Sarah Morris to Amazing Grace Cafe for a cozy concert called "Merry Little Christmas Party." With two of Minnesota's warmest personalities slinging the songs, the hygge will be huge. Plus, Morris is dropping an intimate new holiday EP ("merry, little, light") with a Minneapolis release show just a day earlier. She's bold enough to cover "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," famously associated with the Northland's own Judy Garland, but Morris's rendition is so heartfelt, we'll allow it. For tickets and information, see sarahmorrismusic.com.

Dec. 14: Love Actually

Theatrical release poster for "Love Actually," featuring photos of ten stars arrayed behind a red gift ribbon.
Theatrical release poster for "Love Actually."
Contributed / Universal Pictures

OK, so Mark's silent declaration is a little creepy, and Hugh Grant may not seem quite as swoon-worthy as he once did. "Love Actually" is still a quintessential holiday rom-com, often imitated but never equaled. The 2003 movie will be at the Zinema on Dec. 14. For tickets and information, see zeitgeistarts.com.

Dec. 15: George Winston

Close-up photo of a white man's hands on a piano keyboard.
Pianist George Winston is bringing his inimitable style to the DECC.
Contributed / Todd V. Wolfson

This year marks the 40th anniversary of George Winston's solo piano album "December," which is right up there with the "Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack as a chill-vibes holiday essential. The pianist, who also happens to be an ace at Hawaiian slack key guitar, will be at the DECC's Symphony Hall on Dec. 15 for a concert that will likely attract both casual fans and true believers. "On the page, the music doesn't look difficult to play," a young pianist at a Winston concert in St. Paul told YourClassical MPR, "but no one can play it like he does." For tickets and information, see decc.org.

Dec. 16: Storyhill

Two white-presenting men stand facing the camera in a snowy landscape.
Storyhill will be welcoming the winter at Sacred Heart Music Center.
Contributed / Storyhill

Duluthians know "Bethlehem" as a searing 2005 song by Charlie Parr, but it's also a 2020 album by the acoustic Montana duo Storyhill. It features their poignantly plucked interpretations of standards like "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" as well as originals — and a version of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" with the familiar lyrics but an entirely new melody. Don't knock it 'til you try it. They'll be performing the entire album, front to back, at Sacred Heart Music Center on Dec. 16. For tickets and information, see sacredheartmusic.org.

Dec. 17: Great Hall Marketplace

The Depot's Great Hall Marketplace brings seasonal spirit to the historic station.
The Great Hall Marketplace at the Depot.
Contributed / St. Louis County Depot

The Depot understands that, let's face it, some people are last-minute shoppers. The downtown venue is inviting community members to "wrap up your gift list" as dozens of vendors set up shop in the Great Hall on Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, see experiencethedepot.org.

Dec. 17: Willowgreen

Eight white people of varying ages pose for studio portrait with Celtic instruments including harp, dulcimer, and guitar.
Willowgreen members, from left: Liesel Wilson, Mary Lou Williams, Georganne Hunter, Wendy Nelson, Jim Ofsthun, Sue Spencer, Bridget Spencer and Ella Branca.
Contributed / Fitzphoto

Why wait until March to enjoy the lilting sounds of Celtic music? The folk group Willowgreen are bringing traditional and contemporary seasonal selections with a Celtic flavor to Sacred Heart Music Center on Dec. 17. For tickets and information, see sacredheartmusic.org.

Dec. 17: Duluth East holiday concert

The massive choral Christmas concert is a Minnesota specialty. The St. Olaf College Christmas Festival is the biggest, drawing a national audience both in person and on the internet, but the University of St. Thomas also puts one on at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. On Dec. 17, Duluth's own Symphony Hall will host a concert by the collected ensembles of Duluth East High School. For tickets and information, see decc.org.

Dec. 21: Gremlins

Theatrical release poster for "Gremlins," with photo of young white man holding white box from which a small fuzzy creature can be seen to emerge.
A poster advertising a theatrical re-release of "Gremlins."
Contributed / Warner Bros.

Joe Dante's movie was heavily marketed to kids when it was released in 1984, but the PG-rated film is so violent that it helped inspire the creation of a new PG-13 rating. That makes it a particularly macabre Christmas classic — but a Christmas classic nonetheless, complete with a snow-flecked opening sequence shot on Universal's iconic Courthouse Square set. (You might recognize it from "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Back to the Future.") The movie even helped return Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" to popularity. Don't feed your mogwai popcorn after midnight; see the Dec. 21 screening at Zeitgeist. Tickets and information are available at zeitgeistarts.com.

This story was updated at 7:05 a.m. Nov. 15 to correct the date range for the Friends of the Duluth Public Library Holiday Book Sale, which takes place over three days rather than just one. It was originally posted at 8:45 a.m. Nov. 14. The News Tribune regrets the error.

Related Topics: DULUTHMUSICMOVIESCHRISTMAS
Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at jgabler@duluthnews.com or 218-279-5536.
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